Alex Cunningham – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Alex Cunningham on 2015-11-04.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has assessed the potential of liquid petroleum gas as a replacement for diesel in (a) passenger cars, (b) taxis, (c) HGVs, (d) vans and (e) public sector fleets.

Andrew Jones

As part of a consultation in 2014 on amendments to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) the department considered the potential benefits of biopropane in delivering GHG savings. In recognition of this, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation was subsequently amended to increase rewards for suppliers of that fuel from April 2015.

The department, working with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, have evaluated a range of options for tackling poor air quality; this formed the basis of the Government’s draft air quality plans that recently went to public consultation. Switching to LPG can provide air quality benefits but may not be easily deployed in all vehicle types.

As part of the department’s 2014 Clean Vehicle Technology Fund (CVTF) grant scheme, Birmingham City Council were awarded £500,000 to enable the conversion of 80 older black cabs from diesel to LPG which will help improve air quality on some of the most polluted roads. There is a possibility of funding through the current CVTF grant scheme being used to support further LPG conversions in other areas.

We are considering many competing priorities across Government as part of the Spending Review, including measures to tackle air quality pollutants and reduce other harmful emissions. The outcome of the Spending Review will be announced later in the autumn.

The department regularly meets with motor manufacturers and their representative body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Discussions on how manufacturers can act to tackle poor air quality cover a range of measures.